2007_05_fdny.jpgThe firefighters' union has ratified a new contract with the city that offers big pay raises. For instance, the salary of a probationary firefighter goes from $25,100 to $36,400 (current firefighters will get an 8.16% raise). The head of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, the biggest fire union, said the contract passed 56% to 44% and, "This is far and away the best contract negotiated by any municipal labor union with this city in this current round of bargaining."

How did the city agree to such a contract? The NY Times reports, "To help finance the raises, the agreement calls for new firefighters to receive lower night differential pay and six fewer paid holidays each year during their first five years on the job." What comes to mind is how the NYPD's starting salaries are now still at $25,100, which is generally agreed to be too low. On the NYPD Rant message board, the feeling is that 56% of the UFA got taken in by the city's promises. However, recently the Daily News question ed whether police union head Pat Lynch unnecessarily made the salary issues worse by refusing to negotiate, and opting to arbitrate contract negotiations instead.

Photograph by tobyleah on Flickr